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Plant a flag. Go all in. Commit to mastering one thing. A website makeover for online retailers.

by Paul Montreal. Average Reading Time: about 4 minutes.

Bra Retail Website Makeover

I’m doing a marketing makeover on Brandie’s website. She’s a Canadian Entrepreneur who’s selling better fitting bras through her website and through bra fitting parties. There’s something for all online retailers in here. (I’m listening to John Murphy’s Sunshine movie soundtrack while I work). So hold onto your jiggly bits, here are my top 6 tips for turning your website around…

Website makeover

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1. Fill the screen thoughtfully.

Your logo takes up too much valuable real estate at the top of every page. It’s a good name, it speaks to a problem / solution and the domain name, positions you geographically. But other than that, having the logo 5x bigger than it needs to be doesn’t provide any more benefit to the reader. If it were an illustration or photograph to help further position your brand, that might be different. If the brand were being developed as a really strong symbol of some emotional world view, it may be justified. But in this case, you can likely make much better use of that space by including a tag line or headline that further explains what this website can do for me, or highlight your email sign-up box.

Action: Reduce the size of your logo and use the space to feature a prominent email sign-up box. Include a tagline which makes a strong promise to your audience, which both makes it clear how you can help them, and encourages them to sign-up to start benefitting right away.

Retail website makeover

2. Make each blog post a self-contained sales woman. Working for you, when you’re not there.

I scroll down the page and I’m right into blog content. There are several “Lingerie Of The Day” posts, which really don’t make much sense to me. Visually they are quite confusing. A mix of models, from professionally airbrushed, to professionally thin, to non-professional and larger women. It’s hard to work out what I’m looking at, how it all fits together. But more importantly, there’s no call to action on these posts. I’m not being asked to do anything. I can’t even buy the lingerie being featured.

Several posts are labelled as “Bra Reviews”. OK, I get the idea, you give a bra to a “regular woman” and they review it. This wasn’t instantly obvious though, it took a while to work out who’s who. Who’s behind the site, who are the guest reviewers, who are the guest experts.

Don’t be afraid of stating and re-stating the obvious. Because very little is obvious to new visitors. If you’re doing a bra review, start each review with a simple line explaining what it is. Notice how I start each makeover…

I’m doing a marketing makeover on Christine’s Kickstarter project. She’s a photographer turned film maker who’s raising money for her movie script “Divorce Photographer”. At first glance she seems to be doing a lot right. Let’s see if we can dig a little deeper and help her fine tune her pitch.

And I end each makeover with my headshot and a paragraph explaining how I can help the reader with a clear a call to action…

Action: Make each blog post a self-contained sales woman. Working for you, when you’re not there. Each one should stand on its own to attract the right people, deliver value, position you, explain who you are and get them to take action on something.


3. Play to your strengths and go all in.

I’m not up to speed on my bra sizes but isn’t DD+ quite large? “Miss Amelie” looks a lot skinnier than the other “model” photos. I’m trying to imagine the equivalent of using this type of image to sell that type of product in another industry, but I can’t. There’s something so inauthentic about it, it’s silly. Sure, we all want to be fooled, we all want to buy into the dream. But that’s the art of suspending disbelief. And it isn’t working here.

It may be because you are mixing model shots with shots of regular women. But the overall visual result is confused. It isn’t a glossy catalogue, and it isn’t fully committed to “real people”. It’s confused. And confused isn’t good.

Ultra glamor makes sense at the highest level. I think the Victoria’s Secret people are marketing geniuses. But you can’t compete with them. What you can compete with is being “real” and “personal”, dealing with people on a more intimate level through your website, and in-person through your parties.

Action: Play to your strengths. Go all in on the “real women” angle and dump the product shots of professional models. Or, go all in on being glam. But don’t try to be both.


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